May 12th, 2008
11:30 AM ET
14 years ago

Barr announces presidential bid


Watch part of Bob Barr's announcement Monday.

(CNN) - Former Republican Rep. Bob Barr formally jumped into the White House race Monday as a candidate for the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination.

Barr, the onetime darling of conservatives who led the impeachment fight against former President Bill Clinton, said he is running because voters want a choice beyond the two political parties.

"They believe that America has more and better to offer than what the current political situation is serving up to us," he said Monday at the National Press Club in Washington. "The reason for that is very simple, they believe in America as I believe in America. We believe in an America that is not and should not be and should never be driven by fear as current policies on behalf of both parties are in this country."

Barr, 59, represented Georgia's 7th congressional district from 1995-2003, and became an increasingly vocal critic of President Bush, especially over the president's support of the Patriot Act. He formally left the Republican Party in 2006.

It remains unclear how much support he will draw, but CNN's Bill Schneider says Barr could be to John McCain what Ralph Nader was to Al Gore in 2000.

"If this is an extremely close election, even if Bob Barr gets a handful of votes, it could make a difference, just as Ralph Nader once did," Schneider said. "He is a conservative who attracts mostly Republican voters. He is critical of the Iraq war. McCain supports the Iraq war. There are many conservatism and Republicans who ware critical of the war in Iraq and some of them may decide to vote for Bob Barr to register their protests.

Related Video: Watch Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider give his take on Barr's entry to the race and the latest superdelegate count.

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soundoff (347 Responses)
  1. California08

    I feel that if this invididual and any others at this late date are irrevalent. They want to be president of the US and propose to take the easier route of just running in the primary and think that the American people in this instance is going to be so stupid to vote for them when we have spent the last 15 plus months vetting two other individuals to make a choice.

    Mr. Barr quit now. We respect your righte to run for president, but why not put in the time, energy and money to be vetted with Clinton and Obama.

    May 12, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  2. norm

    Well,well.well! At last the so called white Republican 'necks from the SOUTH have one of there own to support!!! I just wonder if Barr will carry this John Burch society hand book around with him for use to rally the fateful?? You know, kindly like Moe and his lttle red book.
    This man is a disgrace along with Zell Miller, Tom Delay, Dick Chaney and last but not least "W"!! If they lived in any other country in the world, this gang would be charged with war crimes!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. JJ from Arizona

    Everyone says no one has a chance to win because people only vote for either the democrat or the republican, so you will too. You know if everyone threw that rule out, you would actually have a choice. It's that mentality that keeps it this way.

    May 12, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. Doug R.

    Barr, who has a history of womanizing, was one of Ken Starr's (remember that drip??) impeachment managers who spent $70,000,000.00 of that taxpayers money investigating Bill Clinton sex life. I don't know who made a bigger fool out of themselves...Barr or Mr. Youthful Indiscretion, Henry Hyde. It would be enjoyable and entertaining to watch Barr and McCain debate.

    May 12, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. Evan

    You know, part of me thinks it's a travesty of democracy that in our political system, people like Barr act as spoilers, weakening the very causes they claim to support.

    Another part of me is tickled pink at the thought of the Republican vote being split.

    A third part of me worries about the possibility of Obama winning without a majority of the popular vote, the way Clinton did in '92. That would cause problems for the new President down the line, since it would seriously undercut his legitimacy. Still, I don't expect Barr to garner anywhere near the amount of support Perot did.

    May 12, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. BB

    We need the democractic party to work together to regain the white house,we do not need any more people jumping in the race to take votes away from the people that have been working hard to get elected.Hillary Clinton should throw in the towel and quit,If she contuines to put Obama down and if she plans to run for President in 20012 she would not get elected because people will remember this election and there is no way anyboby would vote for her

    May 12, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. Mike - Texas

    Who is this dim wit????

    May 12, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  8. petra

    There is nothing good in the news for Obama, let barr , clinton,and macCain form a party together,,, Obama will trash them all, they are all birds of a feather,,thats flock together,, i am a white european mom,, and i have never seen a sane mother and a mentally okay woamn of hill s age telling bold whi┬┤te lies like she does,,, barr can only cut few of macCains votes,, but nothing to worry about ,,, for the dems,,,Obama will conquer them all,,,

    May 12, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Maeglethion

    This is 'operation chaos' to hurt the republicans!!!

    May 12, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. jjp735i

    Great another Nader, just what the voters needed. A third party or even a fourth is welcome, however, they need to make sure who ever is running stands some sort of chance. Barr?

    May 12, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. Brendose, Oceanside, CA

    Attention knumbskulls:

    Already maxed out your contribution to Clinton or McCain??

    Now is your chance to waste even MORE MONEY!

    Send your maximum contribution NOW to Bob Barr!!!!

    May 12, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. petra

    Can someone please call in a psychiatric doctor for this buffon?

    May 12, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. Stu Smith, CA

    Now the hatemongers and the rest of the right-wing fringe have a candidate they can believe in.

    May 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. brenda, NY

    If the nomination is given to Obama without all of the votes being counted. Me Hillary, I will not help Obama, let him fetch a bone. I think that the superdelegates are moving too fast and are not waiting until all votes are in. By the superdelegates reacting in this manner, they are only pushing Hillary's supporter away from Obama. They should let it all play out and than intervene. Remember Obama needs a lot of help with the swing states, so I don't that is very smart of the democratic party. Hillary '08!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. Terry from El Paso

    Porter wrote: "A growing percentage of Americans will no longer tolerate socialism-lite (McCain) and will certainly not accept socialism-heavy (Obama)."

    It is annoying for Porter to deliberately try to smear people who are not socialists by labelng them socialists – if that is what he is doing. It is not quite as annoying for people to use and misuse words they cannot define. Either Porter hasn't the slightest idea what socialism is or he is deliberately trying to mislead others. Other people of different politics but similar personality use the words "conservative" and "fascist" interchangeably, and they are either ignorant or disingenuous too.

    Clinton, Obama, and McCain strike me as good human beings, though there are no saints in government. Most of us would vote against a saint if he ran, because he would be telling all of us things we don't like to hear. Americans vote against anyone who raises unpleasant issues – true or not. So, Clinton, Obama, and McCain have all told a few stretchers, made a few backroom deals, exchanged a few favors that they are keeping secret from us, and broken a few laws in their efforts to support their nice lifestyle and increase their influence in Washington.

    Let us not debate the goodness of one candidate against the weaknesses of the other. They all have strengths and weaknesses. They are all good. They are all bad. They are all good and bad. It is the voters who are the weakest part of our democracy. The problems we're having are of our own making. Most of us think this way when we vote: "1. All for me and nothing for anyone else." and "I want it all and I want it now."

    It is also annoying f

    May 12, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. Gwen

    Another republican idiot. Great. Why can't someone with intelligence, common sense and integrity (like Sen. Chuck Hagel) ever run on the republican ticket?

    May 12, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  17. A Latte Lover, Seattle, WA

    This is just plain awesome news!!!!

    A Typical 48 year old white American Woman for Obama, 08

    May 12, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. William, Tx

    It Take an Impeachment Manager to unite America.
    It takes the guy best known for eating Borat's cheese to have the intelligence and political skills to focus on the real issues facing America.
    He's going to make McCain look like a genius in comparison.

    Barr / Borat '08

    May 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    I truly wish that there was a viable 3rd party to the Democratic and Republican parties. Unfortunately, this is not the party and he is not a viable 3rd party candidate!!!

    May 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. Cheri

    This is great news for Obama!!!!!!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. Keith

    Keith said:

    In American politics Bob Barr has not a chance of winning the Presidency.

    Why? To win you need mountains of cash not just credentials. You also need equal support of the networks, but, that is questionable of BARR getting it.

    Clinton has the knowledge and the credentials "( but she is a woman) " Obama has knowledge and CNN . Look what CNN is doing to Clinton, they interview well known actors etc. and others, continuously, who are in support of Obama. "One wonders".

    Clinton is a woman she represents 50% of your population, and guess what, women have always, in American life, been less than males in politics and freedoms. Why doesn't CNN support her as much as Obama?' I wonder in the election will thay bri

    BARR will have to advertise profusely on Net Works to get their support and that takes money, and lots of it.

    Barr will have to fight not just the negative remarks of his opponents but free publicity given to chosen candidates.

    In the past it was big money that ruled the elections, yet, to-day it is big money and CNN.

    The big money is on the Democrats and Republicans not Barr but honesty and integrity is what is needed in a leader of a great country.

    Should Barr run for President, yes even if some think otherwise.

    Good luck.


    May 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. Obama?

    That is why we will write in Hillary Clinton in NOV.

    May 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. Zoey

    I can see it now. Clinton supporters who let their ignorance and prejudice get in the way of their vote finally has their guy.

    May 12, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. Tjaye

    Whatever! I think he just wants to say he ran for President in his lifetime. If he were serious, he'd have started campaigning long before six months prior to the November, election.

    Obama O-8!

    May 12, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. Le Troubadour

    I want to make a donation to Barr.

    Obama 08

    May 12, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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